I was inspired to write this as a response the Tattie Weasle’s wonderful piece about her Grandfather.
As I wrote this I tried a technique I learned in a creative writing course a while ago to overcome writer’s block. You just have to keep writing without pause no matter what comes into your head and hope that the result is at least lucid…This piece is not really what I started out to say, this is not really my clearly thought through opinion, there are contradictions in my thoughts and writing. Could I really defend my position? Probably not. But here it is, rough, and unclear, and somewhere deep in the heart of it, is a diamond – I hope you find it.
Who do I admire? This is so difficult, many images run through my head, Mother Theresa, Eleanor Roosevelt, Amelia Earhart and Rosa Parks. Do I admire Henrietta Lacks? Not really, she did not actively set out to ‘save’ the world. Do I admire Natalie Portman, Selena Gomez, Emma Thompson? No, I don’t, admire is the wrong word, although these women are very talented, and I can’t think of the right word for what I feel about them! Do I admire the Queen of England? Yes, I do and I say this without particularly being a royalist. What a job she has and she has spent 80 years being gracious and above scandal, now that truly is an admirable quality. Do I admire Selena and Venus Williams, no, I don’t, although they are, like the actresses above, very talented and dedicated. How about Juliette Lowe? Now there is an admirable woman. Anyone who can stand on their head in a meeting so that their shoes can be seen better has to be quite a woman.
When I stop and look at my rambles I noticed a very interesting thing, everyone I considered, whether they made it onto the admire list or not, were women. Famous, royal, adventurous, tired, eccentric…all of them women.
This is what I truly admire – the nature of a woman. In Kew Gardens in London there is a herb garden. The herbs are labeled using the wording that they originally had back in medieval times. One herb is good for the bruises a woman might get when she ‘falls on her husband’s fists.’ Clearly there were some clumsy women back then. Throughout history women have been physically subjugated by men in some way. I’m not a feminist, I’m not a lesbian. I don’t hate men, I don’t think that all men are bad, but I do think testosterone has a lot to answer for!
Women physically carry the greater load, literally carrying the next generation for nine months, giving birth, carrying those children on the outside of their bodies for the best part of 2 years, menstruating once a month for roughly 40 years, going through menopause, it’s all incredibly tough on the body. Women have weaker muscles, and smaller brains and yet we have stood beside men at the forefront of history, exploring the world, outer space, the depths of the sea, the heart of the jungle. We also rule the home front – the hand that rocks the cradle really does rule the world. Women have conquered every aspect of life…I know many men have too, but I’m not really talking about individuals, I believe women above men, are able to truly and successfully handle many aspects of their lives simultaneously.